Stauning Danish WhiskyStauning Whiskey basically produces two types of spirits. Single malts based on malted barley and rye based on malted rye.
The only one of its kindStauning Whiskey is the only active Danish whiskey production that uses Danish barley, which we ourselves malt, and at the same time uses copper pot stills for distillation.
In the production of Stauning Whiskey, there are no shortcuts or compromises on the way to the finished product.
The story of Stauning WhiskeyThe story of Stauning Whiskey begins back in May 2005. On a weekend trip in Denmark where a glass of Scotch single malt whiskey was enjoyed, we wondered why no whiskey was made in Denmark. All of the prerequisites are present. The climate, malting barley and good water. Our wonder was replaced by curiosity. We simply had to try to make a Danish single malt whiskey of the best quality.
We were nine friends throwing themselves into the a hobby. A hobby that quickly came to take up all our leisure time.
We were able to procure some rooms that were suitable for our purpose. Some time was needed to get them refurbished so that they could be approved by the Food Authority for whiskey production. The Danish tax service was contacted and work was being done to get various applications approved. There were a lot of authorities that needed to be contacted before we could get to the point - whiskey production.
When the permits were in place, we could finally buy the most important equipment of all - the copper pot stills. It's not exactly a standard item, so we ended up getting some custom made pot stills in Spain and shipped them to Denmark: a wash still of 400 liters and a spirit still of 200 liters.
In addition to pot stills to use for distillation, many other tasks and problems had to be solved as well. The malting of barley, the drying oven, the mesh vessel, the fermentation, etc.
A lot of thought was given, and many fun but effective solutions were invented so that we could finally get started on the production itself.
The first distillationIn August 2006 - a night between Friday and Saturday - we distilled for the first time. After a regular workday, we met some in Stauning in the afternoon, where we were going to start the distillation itself. We fired under the wash still and many hours went by. Around two in the morning, the first drops started to run out of the twisted copper tubes from the capacitor. It was a great moment. Finally, we could see that all the hours we had spent on the project were on their way to fruition.
The next few hours flew by, and we were able to follow the taste development that occurs from the sharp first drops of the head, until we reach the far more balanced heart, finally ending in a slightly flat tail. A fantastic night that showed that all our efforts had been worth it.
In the months that followed, we continued our test production. There were many things that could be optimized and improved to make production more efficient.
In the fall of 2006, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Jim Murray and let him taste the first drops of our test production. This meeting changed all our plans.
Even though we thought our new spirit tasted good and thought it might turn into a good whiskey, we were nervous about how one of the world's leading experts would react. Fortunately, his reaction was very positive. He clearly let us understand that we should have bigger plans than the 2-400 liters we had planned at that time as annual production. What Jim Murray had tasted was a version made with smoked malt barley. He compared the result to Ardbeg from the 70s. A better comparison we could not have dreamed of.
A new planAfter meeting with Jim Murray, we reassessed our plans. The next year and a half was spent figuring out how to realize the dream of producing whiskey full time. Many scenarios were worked out to find a plan that could come together financially. We ended up with a plan to produce 6-8,000 liters of whiskey a year.
In November 2007 we bought a farm a few kilometers outside the West Jutland town of Stauning. Now energy and resources were to be spent on remodeling, as well as another walk through the jungle of authority. Many hours, evenings and weekends went with planning, applications and remodeling of the former farm into a real Danish whiskey distillery.
Scent of malt town and whiskeyAfter a year and a half of hard work, we reached a very important point in March 2009. The premises were ready for production and only needed be approved by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. Fortunately, this was without problems, and so we were ready to start malting the first barley. Finally, we were in the process of producing a Danish single malt whiskey!
The premises began to smell of barley and whiskey. In March and April, both malted and non-smoked malted barley were malted, and by the end of April we were able to start distilling.
So approximately four years after our first ponder we finally started the production of a real Danish single malt whiskey. A whiskey of the highest quality, where we are responsible for all parts of production, from receipt of the barley from the farmer to the bottling.